By Spc. Reece Von Rogatz 16thAugust 27, 2010
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Soldiers and helicopters of the 1st Battalion,
52nd Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade are preparing to
rapidly deploy in support of U.S. Government humanitarian assistance and
disaster relief efforts in Pakistan.
The unit is expected to begin flood-relief efforts in Pakistan by
mid-September. Its aircraft will include 10 CH-47 Chinook and eight UH-60
Black Hawk helicopters.
The floods of the 2010 monsoon season have exceeded the magnitude of all
recent disasters there in terms of the size of the affected population and
widespread damage, according to Pakistan's National Disaster Management
The most recent figures from NDMA cite the number of total affected
population in excess of 17 million, with 1.2 million houses destroyed or
damaged, and an estimated 1,600 deaths.
To date, $200 million has been allocated to assist with recovery and relief
efforts. Support includes both financial assistance and the immediate
provision of urgently needed supplies and services, drawing on unique U.S.
capabilities and resources.
Through Aug. 26, U.S. military and civilian aircraft have evacuated more
than 7,000 people and delivered more than 2 million pounds of relief
Mobilization of significant military and civilian resources to rescue
victims of the disaster and deliver needed supplies continues.
This unit, designated Task Force Denali, will use the unique military lift
and movement capabilities of CH-47D Chinook and UH-60A Black Hawk
helicopters to help save lives and provide humanitarian assistance in full
partnership with the government of Pakistan.
"We will be an enduring effort to help and support the Pakistani people,"
said Col. Robert W. Werthman, commander, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.